World Cup Day 1 – Betting Preview
By Joshua Poole.
South Africa v Mexico
Mexico are undoubtedly the side possessing more match-winning quality and experience with the likes of Blanco, Marquez, Dos Santos, Franco and Vela in their ranks. Coach Javier Aguirre has transformed the Mexico team of late and after a strong run-in finished just short of the U.S.A in their qualification group. They put in a strong performance recently against England at Wembley and were unlucky to lose but also beat Italy in a warm-up game proving they can compete with anyone in the competition. The bookies place Mexico as slight favourites – Bet365 offering 13/8 for the South American side to get the win.
South Africa obviously have the support of their fans, a climate they are accustomed to and the motivation of playing on home-soil. Steven Pienaar is their stand-out player but their team is certainly limited in terms of its natural talent. This is a team that failed to qualify for the African Nations Cup last year and which received automatic qualification for the World Cup as hosts. They have therefore had a dangerous lack of competitive football as a side and I believe they will suffer defeat, despite a spirited effort. South Africa are valued at 7/4 by Bet365.
Tips – MEXICO DRAW NO BET 4/5 (BET365) – Mexico to feel at home in the heat and their quality to outshine a below average South Africa side. The draw no bet market will diminish the threat of a draw.
Over 2.5 Goals 11/8 (BET365) – The bookies surprisingly favour the under 2.5 goals. In Mexico’s last 3 games there have been 3 or more goals and they are a team who like to attack with flair leaving gaps at the back. South Africa will also be looking to score goals rather than sit-back meaning this should be an open game.
Uruguay v France
This is a tough game to call. France are a team in disarray off the field with the players portraying little faith in manager Domenech. Some senior players are demanding Thierry Henry starts against Uruguay where as Domenech sees his place as substitute. They recently lost 1 0 in a friendly to China which was a less than encouraging result. However, France will surely pull together at kick-off and with attacking quality such as Anelka, Gourcuff, Henry and Ribery at their disposal aswell as a strong defensive backline of Sagna, Gallas, Abidal, Evra and promising Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, I expect the individual quality to determine this game. France to win is at 11/10 with SkyBet.
Uruguay can be a dangerous side. They recently beat Israel in a friendly and with Diego Forlan declaring himself fit they have had a massive boost. He will partner Luis Suarez upfront in one of the tournament’s most dangerous partnerships. A Uruguay victory stands at 11/4 with SkyBet.
Tips – France to Win 11/10 SkyBet – The deciding stat in my mind is that Uruguay have not beaten a European side in their last 12 World Cup attempts. I believe the strong back-line of the French team will be able to keep out Forlan and co to allow the attack minded players to do the damage.
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